Novel technology and application critical to future of startup company
Intense push by Investors in a startup company to launch a new, unique water utility meter design was the driving force in engaging Qualmark’s COE team to help map a quick, but effective reliability solution for the product’s introduction into market. Risk surrounding the new product needed to be minimized. The stakes were high. Because the product was destined for uses in large industrial installations, any failure in reliability exposed the startup and their investors to massive financial repercussions from their customers, their customer’s customer and so on.
SUCCESS PROFILE: Industrial-Use Utility Meter Product Launch
The product technology was so novel that the design team knew they needed fresh expertise to address reliability testing of the integrated metering system. Significant new complexities in the design challenged traditional reliability approaches. The product had, in fact, passed design verification testing – it met spec, but the organization knew better than to go to market without some scope of understanding of the product’s true robustness.
Qualmark’s COE experts devised a highly effective accelerated stress test program that:
- re-worked a potted system to permit testing accuracy
- tested water flow without the use of water
- tested infrared capabilities while product was sealed inside the test chamber
- achieved high temperature testing of circuit cards encased in a low-limit plastic housing
- achieved requisite RS vibration into small circuit cards that lacked mounting holes
RESULTS: Among the issues discovered by Qualmark experts was a mounting flaw that, if left undetected, would have caused a large early failure rate and exposed the startup to huge warranty liabilities that could have led to the rapid demise of the business.
Instead, the start-up enjoyed a highly successful new product launch and was acquired by a well-established, leading utility device provider/manufacturer.
The Return on Investment (ROI) from Qualmark COE solutions is proving to be quite substantial.